This project made me a little nervous. My relationship with clay is firmly centered around the wheel (no pun intended). The idea of hand-building projects hasn't occurred to me since I was working on assignments back in college. Even then, I only worked with coil or slab building out of necessity. For a while there I was obsessed with paying homage to Alberto Giacometti's all skinny figures. Something about them really spoke to me. Trying to re-create something that had originally been cast in bronze, by using coiled clay was definitely a challenge, but it was a rewarding one. Once those projects were completed, I turned to the wheel exclusively for my clay fix and never looked back.
Here we are 7 years later, a new coil assignment staring me in the face. To make it even more complicated, I've never been much for working in abstract forms. I am a realist through and through; in art, and in life. I've been thinking about this project daily since Mandy posted it last weekend. Mulling it over, trying to squelch the ideas of slugs and candle holders- representative, functional objects- that kept jumping into my brain. I finally grabbed hold of one idea of an abstract, multi-limbed form, and began thinking about that shape and how to accomplish it.
Cutting the likeness of a three dimensional shape you've conjured in your head, is an exercise in using your imagination for sure. Turning that two dimensional representation back into a 3-D form takes that one step further. Aside from those challenges, I also realized that coiling clay upward requires some patience and techniques that are beyond rusty. Fortunately, the sun is shining in Portland today and clay dries more quickly in the sun. With any luck I'll make some progress on this thing today and regain my coil legs.